February 2023

Volume 66

Photo Credit: "Venice Canal, 2007" by John A. Forner, SBCERS Retired Member




Also in this edition...

  • 2023 COLA Tracker
  • January 2023 Investments Results
  • January 25, 2023 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • February 22, 2023 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • CareCounsel Information
  • RESBC Membership Information


SBCERS has created a video to explain what the COLA could mean to your retirement benefit if you are considering retirement before April 1, 2023. Click here to watch the COLA video!

There is a lot more to consider when planning retirement. Click here to see our video playlist explaining:

  • what to expect during the retirement process, 
  • who is eligible for retirement, 
  • how your pension benefit is calculated, 
  • what service purchases are and how they impact your benefit, 
  • retiree health insurance, and 
  • what happens to your retirement account when you go through divorce and dissolution of partnership.

We highly encourage you to watch the videos above. If you would like to meet with a Member Services Representative for retirement planning, please schedule an appointment online at www.sbcers.org/appointments.


SBCERS Member Services Representatives are available for in-person and virtual meetings. 


  • SBCERS Goleta Office: 130 Robin Hill Road, Suite 100, Goleta, CA 93117
  • SBCERS Santa Maria Office: 2236 South Broadway, Suite D, Santa Maria, CA 93454
  • Zoom or Phone

Members may choose between 20-minute or 60-minute appointments.

Some examples of 20-minute appointment topics for active members include discussing service purchase of medical leave or extra help time, or divorce. For retired members, a 20-minute appointment may be useful to help with tax withholding changes, Health Reimbursement Claims, direct deposit changes, or insurance questions.

60-minute appointments for active members include pre-retirement or retirement counseling sessions. Retired members should book a 60-minute appointment for topics such as death benefit claims or continuance onboarding.

Click Here to Book an Appointment

2023 COLA Tracker

For January 2023, Los Angeles Area Inflation (year over year) was 5.77%.

View monthly inflation figures compared to last year.

Want to track the COLA on your own? On the 15th of each month, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics releases CPI data for Los Angeles.

Read the current Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

January 2023 Investment Results

The Total Fund returned 3.40% for the month of January 2023. Since the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1, 2022, the Fund has returned 4.46% generating over $170 million for SBCERS retirees and beneficiaries.

Read the full January 2023 Investment Flash Report.

January 25, 2023 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights

At the January 25, 2023 Board of Retirement meeting, the Board voted to appoint Michael Vidal as Chair, Steve Lavagnino as Vice Chair, and Michael Daly as Secretary of the Board. The Board also received and accepted the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022 and the June 30, 2022 Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Valuation. Investment Consultants from Hamilton Lane presented on Private Real Estate and RVK, Inc. reported on World Market Activities as of December 31, 2022. Lastly, SBCERS CEO Gregory Levin presented the Mid-Year Budget Review and monthly Operations Report.

Read the January 25, 2023 Minutes.

February 22, 2023 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights

At the February 22, 2023 Board of Retirement meeting, Board Chair Vidal appointed Trustees Lavagnino, Tan, Vidal, and Daly to the Operations Committee. The Board received quarterly reports from Public Markets, Private Real Estate, Private Real Returns, and Private Equity consultants. The Board also received annual strategic plans for the Private Real Return and Private Equity portfolios from Hamilton Lane. The Board adopted a 3% COLA rate and COLA bank increases (4.5% and 5.5%, depending on plan) as set forth in Cheiron’s Cost-of-Living Adjustment report. Plan 2 members do not receive a COLA. The Board also authorized the CEO to enter into a written contract with Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corporation to perform independent auditing services for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2023 through June 30, 2025. The Board also voted to create an investments ad hoc committee in order to conduct an onsite due diligence visit to its General Investment Consultants office.


Draft minutes will be available to view online in mid-March.


Looking for a stress-free solution to your healthcare inquiries and, or concerns? CareCounsel is our health advocacy partner and is a service offered as part of your benefit package. CareCounsel works independently from your insurance carrier and is a completely confidential resource. 

It’s easy, call: (888-227-3334), or email staff@carecounsel.com Monday through Friday 6:30 am to 5:00 pm PST. After hours, you can leave a message and they will get back to you the next business day.

A few examples of why you should contact CareCounsel:

  • Education
  • Making Sense of Medicare
  • Benefits and Coverage Questions
  • Claims and Billing Assistance
  • Eligibility Status
  • Quality Concerns
  • Grievances and Appeals
  • Assistance with Locating Healthcare Providers


RESBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of county retirees by providing information on critical retirement issues and offering educational/cultural social opportunities. Membership in RESBC is $2.50 monthly. Dues are deducted from the member’s Santa Barbara County pension payment. County employees may join RESBC by completing the RESBC Membership Deduction Authorization form at the time of their retirement exit conference.

Retirees may join at any time by requesting a membership form from SBCERS, 130 Robin Hill Road, Suite 100, Goleta, CA 93117, 1-877-568-2940 or, by clicking HERE and sending the completed form to benefits@sbcers.org. 

RESBC Membership benefits include:

  • 4 issues of the RESBC newsletter per year.
  • 4 subsidized luncheon meetings per year held at various county locations.
  • Opportunities to participate in subsidized day trips and special events.
  • Attendance at special presentations on critical issues such as health insurance, pension litigation, pension-related court decisions, etc.
  • Opportunity to socialize and have fun with former co-workers and friends.

Have a question about an item in this newsletter?

Call a Benefit Representative at 1-877-568-2940. We are ready to help you!

Want to look at prior newsletters?

Click HERE to visit the SBCERS Newsletter Archive.